Please leave the Buffalo Bills alone. I beg you to have mercy on the franchise as well as their fans. The heartbreak you have dealt this franchise is too much for any fan to bear. Last Monday night was one of the most heart breaking things I’ve seen in a long time. Not only did the Bills lose the game, but it was a 47-yard field goal, down by one point, that was missed.
I am not a Bills fan, but I am as close to one as any non-fan could. I live in a household with four Bills fans. My little brother and mother are not die-hard, but they support the Bills. My brother was born in Buffalo and my father has been a Bills fan since as long as he has lived in the United States
My father lived through the great years...as well as the bad ones. He watched as Scott Norwood let immortality slip though his fingers as his kick went...wide right. He watched as a back-up quarterback Frank Reich led the greatest comeback in NFL history, his Bills outscored the Oilers 35-3 in the second half to force overtime and eventually win, 41-38. He saw Reich upset the heavily favored Steelers the very next week.
He then watched the hero of Buffalo, Jim Kelly, get his job back. Only to watch them lose 52-17 to the Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl.
He watched all four Super Bowl losses. I have often asked him what he thought after each one. He always answered with a smile while shaking his head.
He watched as the Bills dominated the AFC East in the '90s. He watched as that dominance disappeared with "The Music City Miracle." To this day he despises all squib kicks.
There are few things in sports more demoralizing than "wide right." The only thing I could think of that would hurt more...is having to watch it again.
So there he was on his knees watching ever so attentively as Ryan Lindell lined up in the same position as Scott Norwood did back in 1991. I found myself almost praying for it to go in, for his sake.
Then I watched as he fell flat on his back as Ryan Lindell's kick went wide right in the same position Scott Norwood's kick did back in 1991. ESPN showed Jim Kelly's face seconds after the kick, it was the look of a man who was just forced to watch one of the most haunting moments in his life all over again.
Yet, despite this...my father is still a fan of the Buffalo Bills. I ask myself, how can a town endure such heartbreak and still pack Ralph Wilson Stadium every weekend? It is the same reason that we all support our own teams.
It is the same reason we support our own teams, because there is always the next play, there is always the next game, and there is always next year. He is still a fan because the game is constant. His team doesn't break up with him, find new friends, or die. The Bills are always there on Sunday with a new opponent, a new plan of attack, and a new hope that they will emerge victorious.
Because when it comes down to it, it isn't wins that bind a team to its fans. It is the experiences they have shared together. It is the silence of 70,000 people as Ryan Lindell missed his 47-yard field goal attempt. And it is the roar of 70,000 people as Marshawn Lynch dragged two people on his way to the one yard line.
He is a fan because one day it will happen. One day the team will rise above the heartbreak. One day the team will conquer the NFL and be crowned Super Bowl Champions.
One day, the Buffalo Bills will win the Super Bowl.
Please God, give these fans what they deserve. Give them their Super Bowl championship.
P.S.: Of course, not this year...GO PACKERS! And go Jets!
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